Electroactive polymer based microfluidic pump

Feng Xia, Srinivas Tadigadapa, Q. M. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


A planar, valveless, microfluidic pump using electrostrictive poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)] based polymer as the actuator material is presented. P(VDF-TrFE) thick films having a large electrostrictive strain ∼5-7% and high elastic energy density of 1 J/cm 3 have been used in a unimorph diaphragm actuator configuration. The microfluidic pump was realized by integrating a nozzle/diffuser type fluidic mechanical-diode structure with the polymer microactuator. The P(VDF-TrFE) unimorph diaphragm actuator, 80 μm thick and 2.2 mm × 2.2 mm in lateral dimensions, showed an actuation deflection of 80 μm for an applied electric field of 90 MV/m. The microfluidic pump could pump methanol at a flow rate of 25 μl/min at 63 Hz with a backpressure of 350 Pa. The flow rate of this pump could be easily controlled by external electrical field. Two different sizes of nozzle/diffuser elements were studied and the pumping efficiency of these structures is 11 and 16%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-352
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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